That for many job positions the choice of candidate

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that for many job positions, the choice of candidate is not necessarily related to capability but rather to personal contacts. Also, he notes that all Brazilians know that upon entering a new organization, they should immediately seek out a padrinho (godparent figure) closest to those in power who will help them on their way to the top. Finally, DaMatta affirms that the question “ Você sabe com quem está falando ?” (Do you realize who you are talking to?) also demonstrates the personalism of relations in Brazil, aside from its clear hierarchical and authoritarian implications. The concept of personalism may seem to contradict all that was said in the previous section on hierarchy. However, this appearance of contradiction is just one more example of what some call the “chaos” of Brazilian culture when in fact it is not
30 chaos but a series of paradoxes that exist in the society due to historical events and development. In this case it is tied historically to the patriarchal system of slavery which represents levels of hierarchy yet is also based on relations and intimate contact, two opposing forces, the closeness of family ties and dependency, yet the distance between slave and master. Paternalism Paternalistic relationships, a common element in Brazilian society and organizations, are defined as situations where a “father” (superior) controls and makes demands on subordinates in an economic relation, yet also treats the subordinates in a nice way and protects them on a personal basis. These types of relationships are very specific to Latin American cultures and distinguishes them from non-Latin American ones. Borges de Freitas connects relationships in today’s work world with the colonial patriarchal relationships of the master where the slave worker was not only a tool to get work done but also a soul for which the master had a moral responsibility to save. Along with these traditions of hierarchy and paternalism exist the importance of closeness and warmth in relationships which may be tied to Buarque de Holanda’s description of Brazilian’s and their contribution to civilization as their status of being the homem cordial (kind and cordial person). He describes the warmth, hospitality and friendliness of Brazilians as a definite personality trait and need for intimate relationships. He cites examples of Brazilian customs suggesting intimacy such as the use of the first name in most social settings, the frequent use of the diminutive –inho and the informal and popular treatment Catholic saints. Malandragem (Cunningness) In a society as hierarchical as Brazil, the inequality between groups has
31 created forms of social interaction through family relations and friendships. In Brazil, people tend to be judged by their personal social circles and contacts. DaMatta (1983) states that it is on these personal relationships that Brazilians depend when laws or situations overlook individual circumstances. He explains that due to the high levels of

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